Every home cook needs to have a classic recipe for pot roast served with gravy, carrots, and potatoes!
This easy recipe is great for beginners and delivers incredible results every time! Chuck roasts are inexpensive cuts of beef that cook in the oven at a low temperature for a few hours. Add in a handful of veggies and some savory herbs for the perfect meal.
What is Pot Roast?
This is a culinary classic and for good reason!
A pot roast is a beef roast that is generally a tougher cut. Cooking at a low temperature for a long time breaks down the tough connective tissues resulting in deliciously tender beef with a flavorful gravy.
Good choices for a pot roast include a chuck roast (my favorite choice), a round roast or even a rump roast
The meat is seared, surrounded by carrots, onions, and a savory combination of herbs and spices and baked until melt in your mouth tender.
How to Cook a Pot Roast
- SEAR Add oil to the pan and sear chuck roast in oil (bacon grease is better if you have it!) until browned on all sides.
- ADD BROTH Place the onions around the roast and add wine, broth, rosemary, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and then bake two hours in the oven.
- ADD VEGGIES Add potatoes and carrots and bake until the potatoes are tender, about two more hours. Remove the bay leaf.
- SERVE Cut the roast into smaller pieces or shred with two forks and serve.
How Long to Cook a Pot Roast
This recipe is based on a typical chuck roast, about 4lbs (give or take). Pot roast is best cooked at a low temperature for a long period of time to break down any tough tissue.
- Cook a 3lb roast for 3-3.5 hrs
- Cook a 4lb roast for 3.5-4 hrs
- Cook a 5lb roast for 4.5-5 hrs
Cook times can vary based on the type of roast. Check the roast with a fork, if it is tough, the roast probably needs MORE time to cook. Cover it back up and let it keep on cooking.
How to Make Pot Roast Gravy
This gravy is super simple and simply delicious, in only 3 steps!
- Whisk two tablespoons of corn starch in cold water until smooth (this is called a slurry).
- Remove beef and veggies the broth and bring to a simmer. You should have about two cups, add more beef broth if needed.
- Whisk the slurry into the simmering broth until thickened.
Tips for the Perfect Roast
- Select a roast that has lots of marbling in it -which carries flavor and helps make the gravy absolutely mouth-watering!
- Baby potatoes are a great choice. They don’t require peeling and hold their shape well (russet potatoes tend to fall apart, although they still taste great)
- Cut the carrots and celery a bit bigger so they don’t overcook
- Fresh herbs are best but dried ones can be used, just use them sparingly since dried herbs have a more concentrated flavor than fresh.
- Add 2 tablespoons tomato paste to the broth if desired.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3-4 pounds chuck roast or rump roast
- 1 large onion chopped, or two small onions
- 4 carrots cut into 2″ pieces
- 2 stalks celery cut into 1 ½” pieces
- 1 pound baby potatoes
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups beef broth or as needed
- 4 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
- ½ teaspoon rosemary
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Season roast with salt and pepper.
- In a large dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the roast on each side until browned, about 4 minutes per side adding more oil if needed.
- Arrange onions around the roast. Combine wine, broth, rosemary, garlic, and thyme. Pour over the roast. Add bay leaf.
- Bring just to a simmer on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Once the broth is simmering, cover and place in the oven and bake 2 hours.
- Add potatoes, carrots, and celery, and bake an additional 2 hours (for a 4lb roast) or until the roast and potatoes are fork-tender.
- Discard bay leaf. Gently pull beef into large pieces with a fork or slice into thick pieces. Serve with juices (or make gravy below if desired).
To Make Gravy:
- Combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water until smooth.
- Remove beef and vegetables from the pot and set on a plate to rest. Add extra broth if needed.
- Bring broth to a boil and whisk in cornstarch mixture a little bit at a time until thickened.
- Season with salt & pepper to taste.